I have decided that I need to figure out a way to make my artwork portable. But how? I cannot take a million pieces of paper with me, sorted by color and pattern, on airplanes or in cars or in camp grounds. This has been a dilemma for three years now. However, I think I have found a solution.
Sometimes we just have to try new things, right? Or revisit old ones to see if they still appeal. The very first formal craft I taught myself back when I was about 10 was crewel embroidery. I would walk down to Sav-On Drugs to buy crewel embroidery kits stocked with three-ply wool yarn. From there I moved on to stronger drugs like needlepoint and counted cross-stitch. I used to take those kits with me wherever I went because my worst enemy is idle hands. It dawned on me about one week ago that maybe, just maybe, I could recreate my style of collage using strands of wool and a needle instead of paper and scissors.
I scrounged through old kits that I’ve kept but will never finish, pulling out whatever supplies I could find. Based on the odd assortment of colored wool strands that I found, I selected a photo I took last fall at Bluewater Lake State Park (located along I-40 halfway between Albuquerque and Gallup, New Mexico). I found some old muslin scraps in my stash, too, which I carefully washed and pressed. On a sheet of graph paper, I sketched out the major shapes in the photo, and then, using Chaco transfer paper, I traced the 8”x10” image onto the cloth. I found several old plastic embroidery hoops, any of which will work, and a variety of sizes of big-eyed embroidery needles. I even found the Coats & Clark’s “Learn to” booklet I bought decades ago for $.35 that shows how to do all kinds of basic needlework. So far I haven’t spent a new penny on my experiment.
Whenever I have a new idea for a project, I get restless. One can only work on it in one’s mind for very long before the fingers begin to twitch nervously. But I cannot drop my everyday life to begin now, so I have to be patient. Will the needles I have poke too large of holes in the fabric? Can I reliably use two strands of different colored wool and get a variety of new colors? Will my hands respond nimbly enough? Stay tuned . . .